The Royal Hotel – need to know

Some key facts and figures about Kitty Green's new outback thriller, The Royal Hotel.

What’s this?

Searching for adventure and strapped for cash, US backpackers Hanna and Liv take jobs and accommodation at a remote outback pub, The Royal Hotel. Relentless heat, unglamorous booze in a box, and lack of Wi-Fi don’t paint the idyllic picture of an Aussie holiday the friends had envisioned, but the real threat grows increasingly intense and volatile as they become acquainted with the town’s primarily male residents. According to IF Magazine:

The Royal Hotel is inspired by 2017 observational documentary Hotel Coolgardie from filmmaker Pete Gleeson, which followed two Finnish backpackers who worked behind the bar in the remote West Australian mining town of Coolgardie.


Who stars in The Royal Hotel?

Julia Garner (Ozark), Jessica Henwick (Glass Onion) and Hugo Weaving (Lord of the Rings).

Who directed The Royal Hotel?

Australian director Kitty Green (The Assistant, Casting JonBenet). The film was co-written by Green and Australian actor Oscar Redding (Van Diemen’s Land

Who produced The Royal Hotel?

The Royal Hotel is produced by Emile Sherman and Iain Canning of See-Saw Films, the Academy and BAFTA Award winning team behind The Power of the DogLion and The King’s Speech, together with Animal Kingdom and The King producer and See-Saw Films’ Head of Film and Television (Aus) Liz Watts, and Scarlett Pictures’ Kath Shelper. The Royal Hotel is a Transmission Films release.

Where can I find out more?

Screen Australia has the full cast and crew details for The Royal Hotel on its website.

Where was The Royal Hotel filmed?

South Australia. As per an article in The Latch, Yatina is a key location:

Yatina is approximately 222km north of Adelaide, and is reported to be home to just 29 people. Yatina’s disused pub will be the focal point of the film, with additional filming taking place around South Australia, as well.

The Latch

Is there a trailer?

Do the critics like The Royal Hotel?

Early reviews have been good. Here’s what Sarah Clements wrote on Next Best Picture

Kitty Green proves that she’s the real deal. While her latest film is flawed, she once again creates a provocative examination of gender dynamics with tension galore. The performances forcefully capture the anxiety of being thrown into this lion’s den.


Garner and Henwick deliver strong performances that culminate in a boiling point of anger and transformation. The changes we observe their characters undergo lead to a sweet moment of well-deserved catharsis. Those hoping for lots of vengeful violence won’t get it here, but Green’s control keeps it grounded. Her prowess for creating tension is like water in a kettle; it boils, with steam eventually coming through with high-pitched force. Here, the sound is a scream of outrage.

Next Best Picture

Any trivia?

As per IMDB:

The movie’s two lead actresses, Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick, who portray the characters of Hanna and Liv respectively, are a blonde and brunette, just as the two back-packers, Nicolina and Stephanie, were in this movie’s source documentary film Hotel Coolgardie (2016).


Where and when can I see The Royal Hotel?

The Royal Hotel will open the inaugural SXSW Sydney Screen Festival (15–22 October 2023) and the Adelaide Film Festival (18–29 October 2023).

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites